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Three ways to improve your teams motivation. 

Most coaches, executives, and owners want their team to be more self-driven and internally motivated. However, the measures that leaders employ are usually all externally driven. We often refer to outside measures to help facilitate change, namely rewards for good results or punishments for poor effort or outcomes.

If you are searching for more internal drive from your team, here are three metrics to examine. 

A-   Autonomy- People need to feel empowered in their position, that they can make decisions on their own and have a voice in their development.

R-  Relatedness- People want to feel a part of the team, that what they do matters, and they are contributing to something larger than themselves.

C-   Competence- People want to know that they are good at what they do. We do activities and perform tasks in which we are competent.  Confidence breeds success.

If a team is lacking in mental toughness and motivation, perhaps one of these principles is off.  For example, a person may feel he/she can make decisions (High A) and is good at it (High C) but not part of a team or recognized for their effort (Low R).

Here are three ways to improve the internal motivation.

A-  Autonomy- Have individual 1-1 meetings and regular check-ins with your team. Ask for and get their input about what is working and what needs changed.

R-  Relatedness- Have functions or competitions. Internal competitions are good; it can build the strength of a team and hanging out with one another enhances the camaraderie.

C-  Competence- Studies have shown that individuals will meet the expectations set forth by their coaches. In turn, positive feedback for effort increases the internal motivation, while negative feedback will decrease one’s motivation.

Sources:  Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227-268.

Need an assist evaluating which of these qualities most applies to your team? Contact us below…

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kid: Build Their Mental Toughness   

1. It’s an Inexact Science…IMG_3058

Scouts, teams, and GM’s are measuring the measurables in a controlled environment many call the underwear Olympics. It offers evaluators a chance to see everyone in a non-game environment where coaching and schemes doesn’t factor. However, even with all of the interviews, testing, exams, physical tests, and video, draft picks often just don’t work out as expected. Namely, it is difficult to assess one’s mental toughness- how one will overcome adversity, & how one will play under pressure. It becomes an art because scouts are also trying to measure the immeasurable: leadership, work ethic, quality of teammate, character, etc.

2. The Bench Press…Bench Press

I enjoy this test the most, probably because I can still bench so there is some tiny level of comparison. I also think we can see a glimpse of a player’s desire; how much someone wants it. Even though the bench press is not the most transferrable to success on the field, it does offer a snapshot of one’s strength.

  •  I witnessed Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming, (projected 2/3 round) will himself to complete three more reps after he hit his limit at 15. After crosschecking with other scouts on his feat, the consensus was he has an “iron-will”.
  • Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley St, (projected 3 round) managed 21 reps in the bench press, but he was the only player I witnessed who actually cheered on his fellow WR’s before he lifted.

Since 0 QB’s attempted the Bench press, I think one quarterback would stand out in the future by merely attempting it.

3. Only 5 guys didn’t have this…

The initial physical testing for each position is the same; hand, arm, wingspan, height and weight. Armed only in their Under Armour briefs, these guys are all extremely built, so you notice when someone looks “soft,” not as defined or muscular.

During the Defensive Back’s weigh-in, I counted 5 players who had zero tattoos. At some point, these non-inked guys had to make a decision “not” to get it done. Interesting, because ink is such the norm these days that I merely wondered if there would be any correlation with success.

4. Confirmation bias…

Scouts have seen these guys at various points throughout the season and have all formed opinions, positive or negative. The fact is that with scouts, they are making biased opinions. It’s impossible for them to have an unbiased viewpoint. Even when the big names of each position are called, like Michael Sam, Johnny Manziel, or Jadeveon Clownley, everyone pays a tad closer attention…

Since people’s jobs and reputations are at stake with choosing the right player, how much of scouting is actually dismissing information that is contrary to their viewpoint (i.e., he had a slow 40 time), while highlighting information that confirms their belief (i.e., awesome arm)?  Or as one scout put it, “The draft is not about hitting home-runs, it is about base hits.”

5. The hardest working coaches…

There were three coaches who were the most visible during my 3 days. I saw them everywhere!! And although Rex & Rob Ryan work with two different teams, they were always together. The third coach was Jack Del Rio of the Broncos. In addition, here is one of my favorite coaches…Dr. Rob Bell & Brian Billick

The NFL Scouting Combine was incredible. I made these 5 observations because in all seriousness, I couldn’t tell one incredible athlete doing the 3-cone or shuttle drill from another. The 335 players all looked like PGA Tour pro’s on the driving range, everyone was elite!!!

 

The Hinge-The Importance of Mental Toughness Dr. Rob BellDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  His 2nd book titled The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness was recently released. Follow on twitter @drrobbell  or contact drrobbell@drrobbell.com

On October 25, 1986, The Boston Red Sox were up 5-3 in the 10th inning. They were 3 outs away from their first World Series since 1918. The Mets, however, rallied for 3 straight singles. The next play was a slow roller by Mookie Wilson up the first base line. It went through Bill Buckner’s legs and became known as the most costly error in all of sports.

The Hinge…

On October 9, three weeks before the costly error, Bill Buckner was giving an interview, wherein he said, “The dreams are that you’re gonna have a great series and win. The nightmares are that you’re gonna let the winning run score on a ground ball through your legs. Those things happen, you know. I think a lot of it is just fate.100

American social psychologist Daniel Wegner conducted an important research study in 1987.

The researchers wanted to see how people suppressed their own thoughts. Study participants were asked to verbalize their thoughts continually for five straight minutes and to ring a bell if they thought or verbalized a “white bear.” The researcher, however, gave specific instructions before the five-minute session began: “ Try NOT to think of a white bear.”101

Wegner’s research showed that most individuals became preoccupied with trying not to think about a certain object. A meaningless object, such as a white bear, became lodged in the mind, and it would surface during moments of weakness. The real world application from this experiment is more pronounced, because we, as individuals, can become preoccupied with more significant thoughts other than a white bear. Worse is that the more we try to suppress it, it can create a rebound effect of pre-occupation.

Our minds are just like our coach. We will only remember the very last thing said by the coach. So, if the coach mistakenly walks off saying, “Don’t double fault, don’t walk him, or don’t strike out.” it is stuck in the head. Unless we can replace that thought of “don’t,” we will play trying NOT to mess up.

Our mental toughness is directly connected with our thoughts. We say what we don’t want to happen, instead of telling ourselves what we do want. We notice the danger and the bad things that can happen and become pre-occupied.

The key is to be able to replace the negative thoughts with an instructional cue or a focus on what we want to do. That’s mental toughness.

Rob Bell revised slide3Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with professional athletes & corporate athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  His 2nd book is titled The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness. Follow on twitter @drrobbell  or contact drrobbell@drrobbell.com

Check out the new film & e-book, NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness .

 

 

mental toughness Growing up, Mary Towe was the oldest of 8 children, and had to take care of her brother and sisters.  For instance, she couldn’t go on any dates as a 16 year old until her newborn brother was asleep. She had mental toughness.

The entire family delivered newspapers when they were old enough (10 & 11) and each child had to go door to door to collect the money!!! If a household didn’t pay, the money came out of their own check.

When Mary was 16, she wanted to a pair of contacts. In 1966, contact lenses were $150 for one pair.

To raise the money, she babysat three children after school for $14 a week for 6 months, which she had to take a bus back and forth. She then took a job at a bookstore working from 4-9, five days a week and all day on Saturdays.

It took her 2 years to raise the money because she also had to buy her own clothes, own food, and bus fare, while also saving for Washington School for Secretaries. There was no safety net if she fell.

That’s mental toughness!!!

When my mom and dad separated when I was 9, Mary proceeded to obtain her Associates, Nursing degree, Bachelor’s, followed by an MBA. (I know because I was a child sitting in some of those classes). She eventually became Vice-President of the hospital and was very successful.

She not only ran a 40-million dollar budget, but was an incredible baker, could train dogs, horseback ride, cross stitch, type 80 words a minute, and run half-marathons.

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Nowadays, the safety net is really close…

I often see parents waiting in their minivans with their children when it’s cold outside for the bus to arrive.

Currently, if a high school kid forgets his/her swimsuit, they call up mom or dad to bring it to them.

The present state of athletics is if a child is not getting enough playing time, parents just switch club teams or even high schools.

And we wonder why there is a sense of entitlement?

Rob Bell revised slide3Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with professional athletes & corporate athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  His 2nd book is titled The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness. Follow on twitter @drrobbell  or contact drrobbell@drrobbell.com

Check out the new film & e-book, NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness .

focus like pete samprasOn Januray, 24, 1995, during the Quarterfinals of the Australian Open, two heavyweights, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier faced off.

Courier won the first two sets and Pete battled back to win the next two sets. During the fifth set, Sampras became obviously emotional, crying during a serve. Later, we learned that Tim Gullikson, Pete Sampras’ coach and friend, had a brain tumor.

Jim Courier saw what was going on and offered an olive branch that turned into a weapon. He asked Pete during his serve, “You okay, Pete, we can do this tomorrow, you know?” 47

Pete Sampras took the remark as sarcasm by Courier and used it to his advantage. He said, “It kind of woke me up to be like, ‘OK, let’s focus’.”  Pete Sampras ended up winning the match.

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Mental toughness is a focus only on the task at hand. This shot, this point, this day…The more we can center only on one shot at a time, the better we will accomplish it. Can you achieve a relentless type of focus? Sometimes we will be called into this type of focus with a light switch moment, embrace it.    Excerpt from The Hinge: Audio-book is now available…

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Rob Bell revised slide3Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with professional athletes & corporate athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  His 2nd book is titled The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness. Follow on twitter @drrobbell  or contact drrobbell@drrobbell.com

Check out the new film & e-book, NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness .

How An Olympic Gold Medalist And I Shared A Hinge Moment

Most of my life, I have been a sport obsessed honk, not only playing but also following every sport, in every possible venue. 

For instance, as a kid, I used to watch EVERY SINGLE match of Wimbledon on HBO during the summer.

I always just assumed that the best win, end of story. As a kid, I had no idea that there was a mental component to winning or even playing consistent.

In 1992, my beliefs changed. 

Reebok had launched a campaign titled Dan or Dave, who is the best athlete in the world? Who will take home the Gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics? The competition was between Dave Johnson and Dan O’Brien, two USA decathletes.

However, even before the Olympics began, during Olympic trials, Dan O’Brien was leading after the 1st day of competition and on record-setting pace.

However, during the 8th event, the pole vault, Dan O’Brien stunningly failed in three attempts, scored zero points, and drifted to last place.  He said, “it was like a dream, I wanted to turn to somebody and say, “Do something.”

Our Mess Becomes our Message…

However, he also said something I’ll never forget. During his weakest moment, he said “I pity anyone who goes against me in the next four years.” 

I was so intrigued that anything like this had happened that I began to follow his career, even cutting out the newspaper clipping from that day!!! It was his Hinge moment because our mess becomes our message… [ I took his picture holding this framed 1992 newspaper article that hangs in my office.]

It became my Hinge as well, because Dan O’Brien began to see a sport psychologist to help with his mental preparation. He admitted that there were too many variables in his preparation and he needed to become more mentally tough.

Well, in 1996, he won the Gold medal in the Decathlon in Atlanta and set the all-time record.

I knew from that hinge moment I wanted to help athletes feel the greatest joy of performing well when it mattered the most. 

I would become a Sport Psychology coach.  And I DID. 

I’ve been blessed to be with my athletes during the most intense times. For more information on Dan O’Brien and his journey, check out his awesome book.

hinge moment

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & Associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the mental toughness books.   

Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment.

keys of confidence

Three Simple Keys of Confidence


Show me a successful athlete, or person and I’ll show you someone who is confident. It is without a doubt, the most important mental skill. You gotta believe in yourself! Here are three simple keys of confidence.

  • Confidence is a feeling:

When we are confident, we feel at ease, relaxed, and focused. It is something that we just know. However, confidence is NOT thoughts! We usually only recognize when we are not confident. When we are not confident, we just have more thoughts, doubt, and are not as comfortable. It does not mean the thoughts are even negative, it’s just that we are thinking more… We can act our way into right thinking easier than trying to think our way into right acting.

  • Confidence is knowing that you’re ready:

The keys of confidence is knowing, not hoping that you are ready.

A question to assess our own level of confidence is: how would you play if you couldn’t fail?

This mind-set is important, because I have yet to meet a successful athlete that plays awesome when they play timid or scared. Confidence = aggressive.

  • Confidence is patience:

Confident athletes never seem to panic or press when results aren’t going their way.

Look, we are ALL going to have bouts of struggle and adversity and we need to remain patient. We must trust our preparation, our coaches, our game plan, our emotional management, our routine, and process of execution. If we have confidence in the aspects we can control, then we will eventually have good outcomes. These are the keys of confidence!

 “They know, that I know, that they know that I know, I will win”


Watch this clip on Larry Bird & confidence!

Dr. Rob Bell Mental Toughness

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness 

not successful

Three Simple Reasons You’re Not Successful Enough


The simple reason you’re not successful enough is due to the lack of consistency. You may perform well at times, and the good performances may be GREAT!

But, you are not flourishing because there is no consistency in your performance! The BAD Days are BAD. 

Coaches and bosses love the consistent performer because they KNOW who they are going to get. NO ONE wants someone who is Adam Sandler one day, but Tom Cruise the next.

Playing consistent is tough because- it matters how bad are the bad days.

Most people will tell you that they thirst for the consistent performer over the streaky. So, if you are not successful, it’s usually because you’re not consistent.

Here’s three simple reasons why you’re not successful:

1)             You are not hustling: 

Nothing can replace hustle. Look at the very best at the highest level and I guarantee that they put forth the most preparation.

It is the first step toward building success and consistency because we must know that we have put forth in the effort necessary.

Ghandi once stated “the harder we work, the tougher it is to surrender.” A rule to follow is to look at who works the hardest on your team and outwork them.

2)             You are not preparing the right way:

It pains me when I see the hardest workers not seeing results.

Often enough though, it is because they are not addressing the correct things.

Remember, we play like we train! In order to play consistent, we simply must compete and create pressure during our preparation.  These are the skills that transfer.

3)             You are putting too much pressure on yourself:

get money fastthese predatorypurposes

Trying harder works in preparation, but rarely works in competition.

When we feel like we are not successful, we are often “getting in our own way.”

Focusing on results as opposed to the execution can cause us to play careful, tight, and trying NOT to mess up.

Pressure stems from a variety of places (expectations mostly) and it slowly creeps into our mentality and performance. Thus, we must completely devote ourselves to the task at hand and staying aggressive.

Peyton Manning summed it up perfectly, “Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.” 


Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- 

love you moreHave you ever played the game— I love you more?  Choose from the following three choices, which relationship best describes you.

1) Your partner loves you more than you love him or her.

Or

2)  You love your partner more then he/she loves you.

Or

3)  You love each other equally, but it is really boring. 

Now, if you did not pick an answer that says something about you as well. But, the question, if answered honestly, reveals so much about our sense of control.

If we picked answer #1, we want to be loved more than our loving the other person. It means we value and cherish being in control. We actually fear losing control even to the person we are most intimate with physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

If we picked answer #2, we sacrifice control over the relationship, knowing what ultimate love really feels like. It involves 100% complete trust and surrender, because we believe that our emotional needs will still be met. It means that we are willing to be vulnerable and completely exposed. If your heart has ever been broken and you can honestly pick #2, you’re stronger than you think.

If answer #3 was your choice, you either weren’t honest or you really are boring. There is nothing wrong with this choice either, except that you struggle with choices.

I work with athletes and coaches who are natural control freaks… There is nothing wrong with choosing #1. I don’t celebrate that I picked #1, but it also means that when we lose perceived control,  we can get stressed or  un-productive.

Bottom-line: we confuse and spend too much time on the things we can influence, namely other people, rather then focusing only on the things within our control; our attitude, preparation, and our hustle. If you’re stressed, it usually is a result of focusing on others and expectations of others rather than on the things we can control.

Rob Bell revised slide3Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with professional athletes & corporate athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  His 2nd book is titled The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness. Follow on twitter @drrobbell  or contact drrobbell@drrobbell.com

Check out the new film & e-book, NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness .

hinge quarterback

hinge quarterback

This hinge quarterback threw more career interceptions (220) than touchdowns (173).

He completed only 50.1% of his passes and his career QB rating was 65.5. This quarterback also lost more games in his career than he won—68-71-4. (Mark Sanchez would be the hands-down starter compared to these numbers).

However, this quarterback was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985 because it only takes one.


The Hinge…

 There were two leagues during the late 1960s, the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL). The winner of each conference played in the “Super Bowl.”

The NFL, however, was vastly superior to the AFL.

In 1969, quarterback Joe Namath and his AFL team, the New York Jets, were 19-point underdogs going into Super Bowl III against the NFL team, the Baltimore Colts; 19 points!

On Thursday night before the game, at the press conference, Joe Namath stated, “We’re gonna win the game, I guarantee it.”

He orchestrated the iconic victory, winning 16-7 and despite not even throwing a touchdown pass, was awarded the Super Bowl III MVP. The win by the Jets and the guarantee by Namath solidified his career and the NFL.

The next season, the two leagues merged.

Joe Namath’s  ONE hinge moment became one of the biggest in the history of the game because of the impact he made. I like Joe Namath and injuries led to much of his later demise as a QB, but his status was cemented because it only takes one! 

It only takes one… Our ability to believe, have confidence, and to trust is the most important mental skill we possess.

dr rob bell

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & Associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books.   

Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment.